The President of Lagos Chamber of commerce and Industry, LCCI, Michael Olawale-Cole has underscored the significance of digital infrastructure to Nigeria’s economic development
Olawale-Cole who was speaking at the ongoing 2022 ICTEL Expo, at the Muson Center, Lagos, on Wednesday said the event is giving particular attention to digital infrastructure development because it poses the greatest challenge to the nation’s socio-economic development
“The issue has always not been with good initiatives, but in their implementation. That remains a big concern to us as a Chamber, hence the desire to make a difference with the 2022 ICTEL EXPO. The 2022 ICTEL EXPO is giving deserved focus to Digital Infrastructure because, over the decades, next to corruption, poor infrastructure is Nigeria’s greatest socio-economic development challenge”, he said.
“The ones commonly focused on are Power, Roads, and Water. We dare say however that, as critical as the listed ones and indeed others not listed are, if Nigeria gets Digital Infrastructure right, the benefits to the nation’s ICT and Telecommunication sectors and on government’s digital economy agenda would be enormous. Indeed, the multiplier effects of an effective and efficient digital infrastructure in our country on national development cannot be overemphasized”, he added.
This is clearly because virtually everything is now done electronically, thereby making issues like Access, Internet of Things, Right of Way, Broadband Penetration, Policies, Regulation, Cyber Security etc., matters of great concern,” stressed the Preisdent.
He reiterated the Chamber’s readiness to support efforts towards realization of the nation’s digital development objectives
In his words, “Clearly therefore, ladies and gentlemen, the 2022 ICTEL EXPO is providing a great opportunity to influence national discourse on digital infrastructure in Nigeria. As an advocacy group and a lead promoter of Small and Medium Enterprises, we appreciate the significance of this to business growth and sustainability and we are ready to lend necessary support to the actualization of this”.
“Let me stress right away that this theme was chosen intentionally. Hence, this year, the ICTEL EXPO will not end at the close of the event tomorrow. Far from that, we are determined this year to follow the Theme through and ensure follow up initiatives that would make the Communique from our robust interaction at this event a working manual for relevant stakeholders”, noted LCCI President.
“The reason for this is not far- fetched. As some of us are already aware, the federal government has announced a target of $40 billion private capital investment in digital infrastructure by 2025, besides facilitating about $1 billion in private equity. Just last week, the Federal government inaugurated the National Council on Infrastructure, with a plan of doubling Nigeria’s infrastructure stock of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, from the prevailing 35 per cent to about 70 per cent”, he revealed.